Discovery College was the place to be on Wednesday evening (March 15) as two of DB’s best netball teams took to the court to battle it out for a place in the HK Ladies League Division 6 final.
The first ever Pirates v Pirates semi-final, the match between the Scallywags and the Swashbucklers was preceded by a minute’s silence to honour the memory of Seru Rabeni, former head rugby coach of the DB Pirates, who passed away a year ago to the day, on March 15, 2016.
Both teams started out strong when play got underway. There were some hard-fought points in the first quarter, as possession passed from one team to the other, with every player giving it their all.
It was last year’s semi-finalists, the Swashbucklers, who edged into the lead as the game progressed, going into the final quarter eight points ahead at 28-20. The Scallywags weren’t ready to give up just yet though, and went on to score goal after goal in quick succession.
In the end, it was the Swashbucklers who came out on top, the final score standing at 36-33.
Speaking after the match, Scallywags’ captain Samantha Murray said, “To lose 33-36 to the top team in our division is testament to how far we have come as a team, and of how well both teams played. It was a high-scoring match with very little in it at the end of the game.”
With only three returning players on the team at the start of this season, the Scallywags have certainly come a long way fast. “We were in essence a new team,” explained Samantha. “During the first half-season we were learning to get to know each other on court and trying to keep the score line respectable. After Christmas, we found our mojo and were the only undefeated team in our division during the second half of the season. To come from 7th to 4th place was a huge achievement and it was an honour to play the Swashies in the semi-final.
“Scallywags and Swashbucklers showcased the best of DB Pirates netball during the semi-final with a hard-fought match ending with a mere three point goal difference. Many netballers and supporters commented that the match was one of the most exciting and enjoyable they had seen, and that they had to remind themselves that this was a Division 6 semi-final as the level of netball was so high. We were also delighted that many friends, husbands and children came to support and hope that we have inspired a new generation of young netballers to take up the sport. Congratulations to all who played, it was an epic showdown to be extremely proud of.”
Captain of the Swashbucklers, and the Pirates’ head of netball, Hannah Homa agreed. “The match was fantastic!” Hannah said. “It was played in a wonderful, supportive atmosphere in front of a cheering and excited audience. Some of the audience members had probably only watched limited netball or none at all before and every person walked away with a smile on their face and only positive things to say about the game and the sport. It was really fitting that we could play in a finals match against our fellow Pirate team mates. Both teams played brilliantly!”
The Swashbucklers will now go on to face Valley Lions in the Division 6 final on April 3. The match will be held at Yat Sen Memorial Park sports centre and play starts at 7.15pm. Good luck Swashies! Go Pirates!
Images courtesy of Colin Sim